As I've heard it the reason for not learning Torah on nittle nacht it to avoid supporting the forces of evil which are more prevalent(?) at that time. I am wondering why those Jews don't avoid learning Torah before every non-Jewish holiday?

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    if the "evil forces" are present because of Jesus' birthday, one would assume that that happens only the once per year judaism.stackexchange.com/a/4878/1362
    – rosends
    Dec 24, 2013 at 21:19
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    @Danno I don't see anything in that answer which limits it to Jesus's birthday. If other birthdays in other religions are likewise commemorated as a holiday shouldn't the same logic apply? Dec 24, 2013 at 21:42
  • this is what I saw in the other answser: "The point is that the person whose birthday they're celebrating on this day was a Jew, and since on a person's birthday his mazal (spiritual source) is stronger, we don't want the spiritual benefits generated by our Torah learning to be diverted towards strengthening his mazal." If other figures whose birthdays are marked are not Jewish, the logic doesn't extend.
    – rosends
    Dec 24, 2013 at 21:59
  • Does it matter if the celebration is very likely not on the actual birthday? Dec 24, 2013 at 22:53

1 Answer 1


There are other reasons for not learning on Nittel besides "supporting forces of evil" including the reason given by the Taamei MinHagim that the Christians would become impassioned on their holiday, and would go out and kill Jews therefore would need to stand guard instead of learning Torah (Ta'amei Ha-Minhagim p. 500).

If you are wondering if that is the reason then why celebrate it at all then you are in good company with the Belzer Rebbe OB"M who held that there is no reason to hold nittel anymore other than for the reason of "minhag avosainu".

Source : http://www.ravaviner.com/2013/12/learning-torah-on-nittel-nacht.html

  • On Dec 25 but not on their other big holiday? Dec 24, 2013 at 22:53
  • what other big holiday are you refering to ?
    – eramm
    Dec 24, 2013 at 22:57
  • Both you and the person who posed the question are trying to apply logic around a minhag that doesn't have a lot of logic going for it. For that reason the sephardim never celebrated it, Lithuanian jews don't celebrate it either. I think the Belzer Rebbe OB"M summed it up best by saying that the only reason to hold nittel was of minhag avosainu.
    – eramm
    Dec 24, 2013 at 23:13
  • Actually, I was just wondering if this idea of Christians being impassioned and inclined to kill Jews was specific to one of their two big holidays or if it also applied to the one they say deprecates Pesach. Not really looking for logic. :-) Dec 24, 2013 at 23:34
  • They killed my great-grandfather at pesach time...
    – Adám
    Dec 25, 2013 at 14:59

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